ROME, Ga. — In exclusive voting by the head coaches of the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), Berry College’s head football coach Tony Kunczewski, earned his third straight SAA Coach-of-the-Year honor, Bryson Lamboy was selected as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and CJ Stone earned SAA Special Teams Player of the Year.
The trio led 21 total All-Conference selections, tying a program record.
Joining Lamboy on the All-SAA first team were Joey Connors, Mason Kinsey, Nick McGee, Jack Carroll and Kevin Grier. Second-team honorees include Hayden Murphy, Jonathan Cox, Trey Gregory, Alex Kirkendoll and Mark Sommerville. Antonio Brown, Jacob Bishop, Tate Adcock, CJ Stone, Mac Wells, David Galloway, Brandon Palmer, A.M. Harris, Derrell Mims and Randall Booker rounded out honorable mention accolades.
Now in his sixth season, Kunczewski led the Vikings to their third consecutive SAA championship this season and their second straight trip to the NCAA playoffs after closing the regular season 9-1. Over the past three years, Berry is 30-3 and rides a 17-game winning streak at Valhalla Stadium. Kunczewski’s Vikings rose as high as No. 9 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top 25 this season, a program best.
Lamboy, a senior defensive lineman from Cave Springs, Ga., keeps the SAA Defensive Player of the Year plaque in Mount Berry, winning the team’s third straight after Vikings’ alum Mamadou Soumahoro claimed the award the past two seasons. This marks Lamboy’s first All-SAA first-team honor after a career season. He posted career-highs in every statistical category following the regular season, leading the league in sacks (9), forced fumbles (3) and fumble recoveries (2). Lamboy was also top-five in the league with 15 tackles for a loss.
Stone, a senior running back from Atlanta, Ga., earns his first All-Conference recognition on the honorable mention squad. His Special Teams Player of the Year accolade is Berry’s first, as he was one of the most dangerous kickoff returners in the league. When teams game Stone an opportunity, which became rare later in the season, he averaged 24.3 yards per return including a long of 51. Also a threat out of the backfield, Stone averaged 64.3 rushing yards per game and scored four touchdowns during the regular season.
Connors, a senior running back from Johns Creek, Ga., made the switch to running back this year and immediately became a contributor. He ranked top-five in the SAA with 72.4 rushing yards per game and scored six touchdowns. His 6.2 yards per carry led the SAA.
Kinsey, a junior wide receiver from Demorest, Ga., earns his second-straight All-Conference first team nod. The standout wide receiver led the SAA with 15 receiving touchdowns after the regular season, ranking among the best in NCAA Division III. He was also third in the league with 67.8 receiving yards per game.
McGee, a senior offensive lineman from Evans, Ga., has been an anchor on the Vikings' offensive line for the past two seasons, competing in every game over that span. He was rewarded with his second straight All-SAA first team selection and led Berry to an SAA-leading 221.5 rushing yards per game, with 5.1 yards per carry and 18 rushing scores.
Carroll, a sophomore linebacker from Canton, Ga., earns his first All-SAA first-team nod. He posted a career-high 44.0 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss during the regular season.
Grier, a senior defensive back from Lilburn, Ga., will graduate as a four-time All-Conference honoree with three first-team selections including this season. He closed the season with 39.0 tackles and tied a career-high with three interceptions.
Murphy, a junior h-back from Calhoun, Ga., earns his first All-Conference honor after a strong year in the Vikings’ offense. He also helped Berry to an SAA-leading 221.5 rushing yards per game, with 5.1 yards per carry and 18 rushing scores.
Cox, a senior offensive lineman from Millbrook, Ala., also earns his first All-Conference honor. He also joined McGee in competing in every game over the past two seasons.
Gregory, a junior kicker from Griffin, Ga., earns his second straight All-Conference honor, hitting 10 field goals this season including a career-long of 47-yards. That kick was the third-longest hit in the SAA all year.
Kirkendoll, a sophomore linebacker from Jasper, Tenn., also earns his first All-SAA recognition. He posted career-highs across the board including tackles, sacks, tackles for a loss, fumble recoveries and interceptions.
Sommerville, a sophomore defensive back from Lithonia, Ga., collected 25.0 tackles on the season and tied the team-lead with three interceptions.
Brown, a junior offensive lineman from Carrollton, Ga., earns All-SAA honorable mention squad for the first time in his career helping anchor Berry’s offensive line.
Bishop, a junior offensive lineman from Franklin, Ga., earns All-SAA laurels for the second straight year, also helping anchor Berry’s offensive line alongside Brown.
Adcock, a senior quarterback from Bogart, Ga., had a career season in his starting role. He threw for 1,616 yards during the regular season with a 58.7% completion percentage. He also threw 20 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
Wells, a sophomore defensive lineman from Canton, Ga., competed in every game this year, collecting 23.0 tackles, 1.5 sacks while also forcing and recovering one fumble.
Galloway, a sophomore linebacker from Columbus, Ga., recorded 20.0 tackles, six sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. He also competed in every game for Berry.
Palmer, a junior linebacker from Columbus, Ga., earns his second-straight All-SAA honor this season. He recorded 20.0 tackles, 1.5 sacks and four tackles for a loss.
Harris, a sophomore linebacker from Woodstock, Ga., earns his first All-SAA nod, posting 40.0 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss during the regular season. Harris also earned two interceptions.
Mims, a senior defensive back from Douglasville, Ga., claims his first career All-SAA honor. He earned 23.0 tackles and an interception this season.
Booker, a sophomore defensive back from Memphis, Tenn., also earns his first All-Conference nod. He posted 17.0 tackles and three tackles for a loss.